Former Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman to be prosecuted for alleged sexual assault
The National Prosecuting Authority has decided to prosecute former Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman for alleged sexual assault.
The complainant, Louisa Wynand, was informed of the decision on Friday, according to her spokesperson, Gavin Prins.
Phaladi Shuping, the prosecution spokesman in the Northern Cape, told TimesLIVE: "On Friday, the NPA informed the complaint of their intention to prosecute Mr Marius Fransman for an alleged sexual offence that apparently took place in January 2016. Mr Fransman was also informed.
"A court date has not yet been set because the prosecution is still working on the process of centralisation, for all the charges to be prosecuted in Kimberley."
Fransman did not respond to phone calls or text messages on Saturday.
Wynand opened a case with the South African Police Service in January 2016, accusing Fransman of sexual assault while the ANC was holding celebrations in the North West.
A few months later, the ANC national disciplinary committee announced it had found him guilty on two counts of misconduct and suspended his party membership for five years.
In a statement, Prins said: “Louisa is relieved that the NPA decided to prosecute. She has always had faith in the NPA and will continue to support the police with their investigation.
"Hopefully this case can be finalised soon so that she can continue with her life. More information regarding the next steps has not yet been made available to us but she has full confidence in the NPA.”
Prins told TimesLIVE the news that Fransman would be prosecuted came in a short phone call from the NPA in the Northern Cape, which took over the case because the alleged crime happened in Kimberley.
Speaking to the Sunday Times in 2016, when she was 21, Wynand said she had initially been asked by Fransman to work at a hotel in which he had an interest.
On January 4, she was told she would be travelling with the former deputy minister of international relations and two of his friends to ANC January 8 celebrations in Rustenburg.
She refused to discuss details of what happened at the Flamingo Hotel in Kimberley, but according to a statement she made at Sun City police station she was forced to share a bed with the ANC leader.
Marius Fransman calls his sexual grope accuser a liar on RSG. Says ANC disciplinary rigged. Shame on him— Max du Preez (@MaxduPreez) November 11, 2016
Prins told TimesLIVE that Wynand had been steeling herself for two years to testify against Fransman in court and was looking forward to the opportunity to do so.
"Now we're one step closer to finalising this," he said, adding that Louise was "doing very well".
He said: "I have walked the journey with her and I have seen her grow in confidence. She is a calm person, very mature. This experience has made her so strong.
"I told her on the phone, 'I'm incredibly proud of you that you've come this far'."
After being vilified on social media in the immediate aftermath of the alleged harassment, Wynand had since received "lots of support", including an invitation to tea with Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, said Prins.
- This report has been updated to add the NPA's official confirmation that Fransman is to be charged.